The first thing i noticed about the varsity cross-country team was that the boys were way cuter than they were on junior varsity. And taller. And had deeper voices. And were way more interested in girls than the JV boys.
Unfortunately, I wasn't one of the girls earning all those attention.
Nope. I was sitting on the bottom bench metal bleachers stretching my hamstrings, watching the older girls laugh and flirt with the very cute older guys. We'd been having practice for almost six week already, and i still couldn't get the guys to look my way when the urge to flirt came across them.
Story of my life.
My name is Alexandra 'Alex' Sean and there are several things you should know about me.
First, i'm a sophomore at Mapleville High. Running is my life, and i made varsity this year. I'm so excited. Too bad i dont know anyone on the teamand i feel like i have the plague or something when im at practice. Why aren't the girls more friendly?
Second, i have three bestfriends named Blue Waller, Allie Morrison and Frances Spinelli. Unfortunately, all three of them have boyfriends, leaving me the odd one out. A major problem when it comes to Friday and Saturday nights, and makes the lack of bonding with the varsity girls even more of a problem. I miss my JV friends- not that I'd trade varsity for some Friday night plans.
Third, it's time for me to have a boyfriend. Unfortunately, I'm one of those girls that has tons of guy pals (mostly runners from my team-and that was last year on JV; the varsity boys haven't even noticed me as a buddy yet!) and no boy friends. Boys love me as a buddy, a pal, someone to push into a mud puddle on a rainy run, knowing they'll get it right back. i know more guys than any of my freinds, but I'm the only one going solo to the first school dance of the year-if I go. I mean, do i really want to go alone?
Fourth, the boy I have fallen madly in love with is Zach Fulton. he has this really dark hair that curls at the back of his neck the tiniest little bit. It's always a little messy-looking, and soooo cute! His eyes are a deep brown that make my stomach go all wiggly, and he has this truly gorgeous smile. He's the captain of the boys' team, and every other gilr on the squad is in love woth him, too. Which means I'm never going to be able to get his attention.
So, anyway, that's me. Nothing too exciting, huh? Just Alexa the loser.
"So, um, Lexa,. We need to talk." I looked up as Allie dropped to the bench next to me. She was wearing a cropped shirt and a black mini that looked awesome on her.
For a moment, I felt totally ugly next to her. I hated it when I let her do that to me. It wasn't like she did it on purpose. "What's up. Allie?"
"About Friday night..."
"I'm totally pumped!" Friday was going to be girls' night. It was down to only once a month since my friends all had boyfreinds, but they'd all agreed to forego their dudes for me this Friday., and I was psyched!We were going to the mall for dinner and shopping, then a late movie. "Were going to have the best time and i got this new shirt and--"
"We're going to have to bag on you."
My gut sank. "What? Why?"
"Well, I'm not going to see Tad all week, soI'll be totally missing him, and Blue got tickets to a play that Colin's been watching to see and Frances wants to go down to Harvard Square and hang out with Theo. You don't mind, do you?
I bit my lip and tried to ignore the tightening of my throat. "No, that's fine." Sure, I didn't mind sitting at home again while they were all out with the boyfreinds. So the four of us had been best friends since we could walk. Obviously that didn't matter once boys got into the picture. I sighed. This sucked.
"You sure you're not mad?"
"It's fine." I blinked harder. totally stupid to cry just because my friends didn't need me in their lives anymore.
"I knew you'd understand."
"Yeah, sure." I understand. Who needs to hang with their single friend when you could swap spit with a guy? If only I had some other life to fill in for them ditching me. Unfortunately, there was nada.
Allie elbowed me. ""So, now that we got that out of the way, I have to ask: Who's the guy in the red T-shirt? He's delish."
i didn't even need to look. I knew exactly who was wearing the red t-shirt today. "That's Zach Fulton. Team captain."
"Yum. If I wasn't already taken, I'd be following him back to the locker room."
Oh, so she needed two boyfriends to my none?
"Tell me about it." I switched legs and leaned forward.
"Aha. Do i detect a little interest from Alexa, Miss I Never Date Runners?"
"Just because I noticed he's cute doesn't mean i want to date him." I watched him flip the ponytail of a tall blonde. Valerie is a senior, the best runner on the girls' team and our captain. "Though for him, I might make an exception."
"I guess tha means Practice is going better?"
I sighed. My friends didin't love me, and I was ostracized at practice. Life was grand. "Not really. The team is like a really tight clique with no room for anyone else. The girls wont talk to me, and Zachdoesn't know I'm alive." With my friends all drooling over their boyfreinds, I was in dire need of some other people to hang out. Either that or I was going to become the biggest loser int he school. We're talking zero social life.
I turned around so fast I lost my balance and almost fell off the bench and onto my face. Valerie was smiling at me. "Great job inthe race on Sunday."
Oh, wow. "Thanks."
"Who was that?" Allie nudged me.
"Oh my god. She's the number-one girl onour team, and she's the captain. Do you realize she just spoke to me?"
Another girl named Marcie nodded at me as she walke donto the field. "Nice race, Lexa."
I managed to shutter out another thanks and i grabbed the bench to steady myself. "Oh myGod. Did you see that?"
"How'd you do inthe race?" Allie asked. "Must have been good."
"I scored second for our team. We wont he meet by to points." Was that it?Because I'd helped them win, I was in? It ws the first race I'd run well in this year. All the others I'd been too nervous, but last weekend, I'd been particularly cranky because my friends had all ditched me again., so I'd just gone out and run hard, not worrying about anything else. And it had worked.
Zach leaned over and whispered something to Valerie, and then nodded at me.
I clutched Allie's leg. "Zach noticed me!"
"I saw." She peeled my fingers off to her thigh.
"Why don't you get off this bench and go out there and stretch with the rest of the team? Find a spot next to Zach."
"I couldn't do that." My hand went to my hair to make sure my ponytail wasn't lumpy. "i tried to stretch with them the first day, and they'll got up and moved. It was so embarassing."
Valerie waved at me again. "Come down here, Alexa. Stretch with us."